The Breeders’ sales – the shortest way to commercial success

One of the unmistakable advantages of the Zangersheide Studbook is that Léon Melchior oversaw the other breeders from the start. Thus was born the idea of the Z Quality Auction, which has more than earned its spurs and enjoys an impeccable reputation among both buyers and sellers. Zangersheide has been gaining momentum in the past decade, with the number of registered foals increasing exponentially. In fact, so much so that, at the World Championships for Young Horses, the live auction could not handle both supply and demand. Fortunately, with the help of technology, Zangersheide was able to serve its breeders and customers through online auctions. These become second important pillar in commercial support for the breeders.

This, too, proved inadequate. The Z Festivals now count a thousand foals. In the search for alternatives, Zangersheide came up with the idea of the Breeders’ sales; i.e., a platform where breeders can auction their horses, foals, or embryos. The concept is simple: the breeder determines the price category and lists his embryo/horse on the platform. As not all of them can be auctioned, Zangersheide creates the opportunity for the foal to be presented in the online Breeders’ sales.

               Davy Wuyts:  "For amateur breeders, this is the best and easiest way "

Davy Wuyts highly recommends the Breeders’ sales. "I'm still a rider, I jump LRV and I usually breed for my own use, just like my father and brother do. A foal does not have to be sold. If there's no buyer, it stays in the nursery and I train it for sale later afterwards under saddle." Wuyts has a good broodmare: Luriana van Klapscheut, a daughter of Elvis Ter Putte out of Uriana van Klapschaut (Heartbreaker). "A solid line", says Wuyts, modestly. "Luriana has now finally given birth to a filly after three years of having colts. And keeping a stallion is not an option. Limoncello WD Z (Leandro VG) was such a colt and that's why I wanted to sell him. Last year I took him to Zangersheide for the photo shoot and presented him at the Breeders’ sales. It was my first time there, and so I wasn't expecting anything. To be honest, I wasn't checking the computer every day, because I'm not at my computer every day. An offer came in from Italy but I forgot to answer. Luckily, Zangersheide called me to ask if I still wanted to sell my foal. They put me in touch with the potential buyer. Limoncello WD Z was in the €7,500–€10,000 price range, and we didn't negotiate. I got what I wanted. Zangersheide handled everything, and also organised the transport to Italy. Professionally and personally, the Zangersheide staff managed everything from A to Z. For amateur breeders, this is the best and easiest way. I would never have found a buyer in Italy. I'm very happy to have used the Breeders’ sales", says Wuyts, smiling.

    Professionally and personally, the Zangersheide staff managed everything from A to Z.

Peter Linmans: "Their reputation makes the difference."

Peter Linmans used the Breeders’ sales last year for the first time to sell his foal  Equina vd Heihoek Z (Eldorado vd Zeshoek x Quidam de Revel). "I presented her last year at the alternative Z-Festival and there it was suggested that I offer her through the Breeders’ sales. I had seen the concept on the website before but hadn't given it much thought. I hadn't known much about it. I admit it that there was a threshold that had to be crossed. And now I am glad that I did. It's only when you get into it that you can really understand how it works. And then you see only advantages. For example, you place your foal for free! I know breeders who place their foals on all sorts of sites and have to pay at each site. Not so at Zangersheide. Another example is that the photos and videos of your foal that are shown at the selection are done by professionals. Not unimportant when it comes to an online sale. A third advantage is that Zangersheide has an excellent reputation and this makes a world of difference. If potential buyers are willing to buy online, they are more likely to go to Z than to a second-rate site. It is my feeling that, these days, the better foals are registered at Z and the buyers know that. My foal, by Eldorado vd Zeshoek out of a Quidam de Revel dam, was not for sale very long at the Breeders’ sales. My first contact was with the French buyer who bought my foal at the asking price. For the delivery we drove together, each 400 km, and Z took care of the export documents. The new owner still sends me pictures regularly. I'm glad I took that step. It was a win-win situation for everyone. Zangersheide generates customer loyalty by offering this service. This year, for the first time, I entered all six of my Z colts and I have used some Z-stallions like Colorit Z and Contagio Z."

"If potential buyers are willing to buy online, they are more likely to go to Z"

Catherine De Buyl: "Sold in three days'"

Cinq Bel Nuances Z is a daughter of Con Air out of Grey Martini (Casall). She was also pregnant with Conthargos – a deliberate strategy by Catherine De Buyl. The mare was selected for the online auction. Unfortunately, she then injured herself whilst grazing in the meadow. "This happened shortly before the auction and offering her like that was not an option", says Catherine De Buyl, a passionate breeder who is perhaps better known for her horse insurance business. "The online auction was cancelled, and the alternative was the Breeders’ sales. It was new to me. Everything was new, for that matter", says De Buyl, laughing: "I sell only sporadically. I work and live with horses. I love to look at them. That's why I prefer not to move my foals too much. You won't see me at a Z-Festival. I don't breed to sell, I love the process of seeing them run in sport. I might part with a sport horse or broodmare. That's what happened with Cinq Bel Nuances Z, who caught the eye of a German buyer. She was listed on the Breeders’ sales site for three days and was bought by the first interested party. And she was in a higher price range. I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly it all went. Cinq Bel is a good broodmare with an excellent bloodline, and the fact that she was pregnant with Conthargos also played a role. On the other hand, I suspect that buyers easily find their way to Zangersheide because of its reputation. Since the mare initially was to be sold at the online auction, there were also professional photos and videos. That makes a difference. I would do it again", says De Buyl.

                                  "She was bought by the first interested party"

Jess Van Weert:  ‘As a salesman, all you have to do is make sure you have good photos/videos'

If his 'Lux' stud farm becomes as successful as his 'Group Delicious', we will hear a lot from Jess Van Weert: entrepreneur, breeder, and Kempen native now living in Gran Canaria. Jess Van Weert is a thoroughbred entrepreneur who, in seven years' time, has developed a market for his sparkling wine Lux in 25 countries. He started out as a dishwasher in a restaurant, working his way up through the kitchen hierarchy before starting his own restaurant and catering business. His wine company, Group Delicious, grew from that. There's also Ushuaia Horses: "My in-laws have been in the breeding business for a long time. They, together with my wife Melissa and me, founded Ushuaia Horses, whose foals are given the suffix Lux, referring to my wine. Ushuaia (Narcos II) is our stud farm's first mare. She is the mother of Happydam (Quidam de Revel), who was trained by Christophe Vanderhasselt and now jumps GCT with Michael Duffy. Diamantina Z (Diamant de Semilly) is an Ushuaia daughter who is known under Gudrun Patteet. Donnatellie (Heartbreaker x Voltaire) is the mother of Cisco Lux Z (Cicero Z) and was sold through the Breeders’ sales to a buyer in the Netherlands. As an entrepreneur, I was interested in where I could best position my foals and I wanted to use the best market, so I turned to Zangersheide. I have been able to sell several foals through the Z Quality Auction and, of course, there are always more to be sold. This is why Zangersheide itself proposed to offer foals via the Breeders’ sales. You should know that I sell my colts anyway. If you cannot offer all your foals at a quality auction, the Breeders’ sales is the best alternative. It is a simple, smooth, and easy process. Cisco Lux Z was sold in two days. No discussion, no negotiations, and everything was neatly handled. What you do need to do as a seller is to make sure you have professional photos and video. I think that's an important aspect," says Van Weert.

 "As an entrepreneur, I was interested in where I could best position my foals and I wanted to use the best market, so I turned to Zangersheide"

 Bart Goen: "A breeder must remain critical"

Bart Goen of DB Stables was once a groom and still works amongst the horses for Zangersheide. It's the same in his spare time: horses remain his main occupation even after his working hours, and likewise bring him success. Goen has sold foals through the Z Quality Auction, the Z Online Auction, and now through the Breeders’ sales. He is an expert and sees the evolution of horse auctions. "Let's be serious: everyone wants to take their foal to the Z Quality Auction. I'm no exception. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It's not always easy. As a breeder I think it's important to stay critical at all times. That's the only way to make progress. You have to assess your foal in every way, including its market value. I sold Cluedo DB Z (Colorit Z x Calvaro Z) through the Breeders’ sales and I am quite satisfied with that. I sold him for the price I had in mind. Because no matter what auction, you never know what price your foal will bring. That is the advantage of the Breeders’ sales: you determine the price range yourself so potential buyers know that in advance. And if your foal is not sold, you don't pay anything. I get the feeling that the Breeders’ sales is still a bit misunderstood. But if you keep your eyes on the offers, you will see nice foals and horses. It's just an easy and discreet platform. Ajlaikya DB Z was also sold to a buyer in Canada through the Breeders’ sales, and that brought me a good contact. Who knows, maybe something will come of it? I think it is great that Zangersheide offers this service for all breeders and all foals and horses, and that anyone can use it.

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